Eight food and drink companies from the Highlands and Islands are grasping the opportunity to build international business at the UK’s largest food and drink event in London next week.
IFE 2013, the International Food and Drink Event, gives suppliers and distributors around the globe a flavour of Scotland’s food and drink when companies showcase their produce at the nation’s capital between 17- 20 March.
Scottish Development International (SDI), in partnership with industry leadership organisation Scotland Food & Drink, will host fourteen Scottish companies at the show, including a number of companies exhibiting for the first time.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) works with all the businesses attending from the region. They are: Highland Smoked Salmon (Fort William); Walkers Shortbread (Moray); Stag Bakeries (Stornoway); Tods of Orkney (Orkney); MacMillan Foods (Argyll); Argo’s Bakery (Orkney); Invereach (Inverness); and Cullisse (Tain).
Iain Sutherland from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) said: “The Highlands and Islands is home to some of the finest food and dink produce in the world.
“We hope that our businesses’ attendance in London will provide them with the contacts they need in order to grow. It is vital for producers selling quality food and drink to show their products to the right audience and the event in London is a great place to start. We have an excellent representation this year and we wish them all the best.”
One of the newest Highland products to feature at the event is SUPER!NATURAL, a natural, healthy version of an energy drink produced by Invereach Ltd, based in Inverness.
Ben Chambers from Invereach, said: “We are currently selling the drink in the Highlands but we hope through the International Food and Drink Exhibition in London to go wider beyond Scotland. Because the product is unique and so natural, we have had a number of enquiries from further afield including Brazil, Cyprus and Greece and that’s very exciting for us because we are so new to exporting.
The event provides an opportunity for companies to do business with some retailers, foodservice buyers, exporters and manufacturers from various countries attending.
The biannual event follows on from the success of the ‘Meet the Buyer’ at IFE 2011 at which 350 private meetings were held between exhibitors and senior buyers. Exhibitors at the biannual event will once again have the opportunity to present their products at a ‘Meet the Buyer’ session with organisations such as 3663, Asda, Compass, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Sodexo.
William Gray, head of food & drink at SDI said: “One of the main attractions of IFE for Scottish food and drink companies is the sheer number of international buyers who attend this show. As such, this event continues to provide a fantastic platform to showcase the Scottish food and drink industry.
“It’s great to see such a strong delegation of Scottish companies at IFE this year and we anticipate keen interest from both UK and international buyers in Scottish food and drink produce.
“We are continuing to encourage Scottish companies across all sectors to explore new markets, and through initiatives such as Smart Exporter, we can help these companies take their first tentative steps into new international markets.”
James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “Food and drink is Scotland’s fastest growing export sector and IFE offers a great opportunity to bolster our efforts to grow the value of the industry and further cement Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink in an international marketplace.
“Scotland excels in producing high quality premium food and drink and the Highlands and Islands region exemplifies this. The exhibition provides the chance to meet retail and food service buyers for UK and export markets which offers huge potential for businesses to explore”
Other Scottish companies attending the event are: